Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation
The Office of Abandoned Mine Lands & Reclamation was created in 1981 to manage the reclamation of lands and waters affected by mining prior to passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) in 1977.
The AML program is funded by a fee placed on coal, currently set at 31.5 cents per ton for surface-mined coal, and 13.5 cents per ton for coal mined underground.
Our mission is to protect public health, safety, and property from past coal mining and enhance the environment through reclamation and restoration of land and water resources.
PHONE (304) 926-0499
FAX (304) 926-0458
ORIGIN OF THE ABANDONED MINE LANDS PROGRAM
Congress enacted the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) on August 3, 1977. A primary purpose of SMCRA was to promote the reclamation of mined areas left without adequate reclamation prior to August 3, 1977 and which continue, in their unreclaimed condition, to substantially degrade the quality of the environment, prevent or damage the beneficial use of land or water resources, or endanger the health or safety of the public. Title IV of SMCRA established the AML Fund to be used for the reclamation and restoration of areas affected by past mining. The Fund is derived from a reclamation fee on clean coal produced by underground and surface coal mining. The AML Fund is supplied with money from active operators mining coal today.
The Tax Relief & Health Care Act of 2006, enacted on December 20, 2006, included the Surface Mine Control & Reclamation Act Amendment of 2006, which made significant changes in the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Program.
2006 Amendment Changes
- Reduced fees paid on coal production by 10% (2008-2012) and by 20% from 2013-2021
- Extended the fee collection until 2021
- Required mandatory distribution of fee collection to states outside of the appropriation process
- The 30% cap on waterline project funding was removed
- Increased the allowable AMD Set-Aside amount from 10% to 30% of state and historical share
- Required states to focus on the elimination of Priority 1 & 2 sites. This includes the protection of public health, safety, & property.
For All AML Projects:
- To bid on AML projects, the contractor/entity in question must be a registered vendor in the state of West Virginia and attend the mandatory pre-bid attached to each project. For a list of current projects, please select the "View Projects Out For Bid" link above and to the left for details. The subsite is usually updated every Friday or Monday.
- The Office of AML&R does not provide physical sets of plans for contractors as of January 1, 2012. We do, however, provide complimentary digital copies of such. Digital copies can be emailed (size limit dependent) or mailed via CD-ROM.
Please direct all web inquiries to Lawrence Burgess.